The Swiss Guards are actually supposed to protect the Pope: But now they could pose a threat to Francis. After several corona illnesses among guards, the mask requirement applies immediately in the Papal States. There is a corona alarm in the Vatican: four members of the papal Swiss Guard have tested positive for the corona virus and have symptoms. This was confirmed by the Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni. The brightly uniformed guards protect Pope Francis and his residence. In addition, there have been three other corona cases in the small papal state “in the last few weeks”. The four infected guards were isolated, the spokesman wrote. Further checks of contacts were ongoing after the cases were noticed over the weekend.
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As the news agency Ansa had previously reported, citing the Swiss broadcaster SRF, the anti-corona precautions in the Vatican were tightened in an instruction. The quarters would be sealed off more strictly than before. Bruni announced that “all guards, whether on duty or not”, have to wear protective masks inside and outside. The Catholic media platform “Vatican News” reported at the beginning of October that the guardsmen were asked to “be careful when dealing with the Pope” because of Corona. Face mask and distance are required. However, a young man who was interviewed about his recruit swearing in on October 4th said that the 83-year-old Francis had already shaken his hand. In the Vatican, where fewer than 1000 people live, churchmen and staff had several cases of Sars-CoV-2 infections in the past few months. However, the Swiss Guard is very close to the head of the Catholic Church. In the Vatican, as in Italy, a mask requirement was recently introduced outdoors. In Italy, with its 60 million inhabitants, concerns about a new wave of Covid-19 have increased after over 5,000 new infections had been counted for several days in a row.
In Rome, politicians and experts hold crisis meetings almost every day to discuss new steps to stop the further spread of the virus. Now the government in Rome is planning to restrict private parties even further. Crowds of people that can be seen in front of bars and restaurants in the evening in many places could also be banned. In addition, according to media reports, there is a risk of restrictions on amateur sports in groups.
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